Beautiful Children Smoking — A Photographic Series

April 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Posted in artist, contemporary art, photography | Leave a comment
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young black girl dressed in black cape smoking a cigarette

young white girl with blond hair blowing smoke rings

young black boy in a jacket smoking

girl dressed in pink against green wall smoking cigarette

young black girl about to smoke a cigarette

young boy with blond hair smoking

Smoking Kids.

I too was part terrified and part intrigued at first glance of these glamorous looking youngsters in a pondering state, holding a lit cigarette. It immediately reminded me of Maria Marshall’s infamous video of her own child puffing away on a cigarette in an endless loop. But the photographer of these images, Frieke Janssens drew her inspiration from a far more upsetting scenario — a YouTube video that had gone viral of a tubby Indonesian boy with a 40-a-day smoking habit (see video here). The child became a tourist attraction in his country until Child Protective Services found out about it.

Janssens, a Belgium based artist wanted to explore how her audience would react if smoking were removed from its adult context. So here she staged these young and innocent faces, but dressed them in costume from a bygone era which our society often references giddily with smoke filled rooms in cinema scenes of the roaring twenties or the ‘Mad Men’ days. There’s a sense of nostalgia despite the horrifying idea that children could be puffing on a cancer stick as they are pictured above.

Well, cigarettes were actually not allowed in Janssens’ photo shoots of her subjects (ages 4-9 years old). They held a candle or incense as a prop, and a cigarette was later inserted in post-production (phew). But the interesting quandary here is the massive ban on smoking that is sweeping across the globe versus the constant glorification of smoking in movies and television. I’ll admit, it’s sexy to me too, though I’m not a smoker. What do you think: Are we making smoking a forbidden act by promoting it in our everything-vintage-is-cool culture? Or is it really just a thing of the past?

Here’s a slideshow of more smoking children from Janssens’ show at Ingid Deuss gallery.

See other S+D posts:
Javier Bardem smoking hot.
Kurt Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean puffing beautifully..
Robyn Twomey’s medical marijuana portraits.

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Harvey Pekar

July 12, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Posted in artist | 1 Comment
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In memory of Harvey Pekar, the late, great comic book writer. Last week, Daryle and I just watched American Splendor and we were both very taken with the movie. We wondered what took us so long to see it. Just as we were learning about the world of Harvey Pekar and how his life was his work; his life ended. Rest in peace.

Shadow Art

May 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Posted in artist, outsider art, photography | Leave a comment
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How cute are these photos of shadow stickers next to shadows? Color Me Kate has such a playful artistic eye.

Painter, Anna Ura: Blurry is beautiful

March 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Posted in artist | Leave a comment
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I‘m drawn to these blurry landscape and seascape images. It almost looks like they are pictures that are out of focus, photographed through a window that has raindrops on it; but now I see they are paintings done with oil. The painter is San Francisco based artist Anna Ura who takes photos and videos of her travels and then paints abstract versions of them. Lovely work.

Silhouette Portrait Artist: Carter Kustera

January 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Posted in artist | 1 Comment
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America’s “favourite” silhouette portrait artist, Carter Kustera will make an original painting of you, little Johnny or Mike the Cat. Based out of Brooklyn, Kustera has an impressive resume having worked on store branding for Jonathan Adler and Barney’s. Nice! He uses gouache on paper—you choose the color, framing is optional. I’m not sure who comes up with the saying below a person’s name. It’s fun to think of what mine could be. Maybe “Katie: Likes to tango on Tuesdays.” What would yours say?

Artist, Stina Persson

August 18, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Posted in artist | Leave a comment
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Stina Persson - cut paperStina Persson - water colorStina Persson - water colorStina Persson - cut paper

I’ve been a long time fan of Swedish artist, Stina Persson and frequently spy on her website to check for updates. I just can’t get enough of the sixties-inspired pretty-girls with lots of eye make-up on. She handles many different mediums with ease: watercolor, arcylic and ink, and cut paper. Similar to Daniel Stolle’s work—what I really enjoy is her use of negative space. I appreciate the way the ink falls into place leaving wide open spaces for the canvas or paper to show through.

Most recently, Stina has designed the labels for Face Boutique, a stylish, chemical free skin care line. Who knew you could easily have a Stina Persson in your own home!

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